In this week’s edition of My Thoughts Exactly, Daniel “Pinto” Gunderson discusses the top five things that make the Christmas Holiday so wonderful.
This past weekend was big one locally for the football teams that call Fargo and the Twin Cities home. Nationally, it was one that pulled at the heart strings of the nation. Both of these topics I hold opinions on, but during the holiday season, I want to try and put people in the Christmas spirit.
While I usually reserve this column to write about sports, I figured I would dive into something a bit more festive.
I want to remind people of what makes the Christmas holidays so wonderful. I love lists no matter what topic the list refers to. Worst movies, worst baseball teams of all time, etc…
So, for this weekly column, I will look at the top five things that make this season my favorite holiday season of the year.
5. The Movies
You cannot escape the Christmas season without watching some of the best movies related to the time of the season. It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and the list goes on.
One of my best memories of growing up was sitting around a television after the food had been consumed and the presents had been opened, watching It’s a Wonderful Life with my family. I don’t remember what I received that year as a gift and I don’t care.
The classics can never be duplicated. I’ll always go back to the staples while movie companies continue to put out some really awful holiday movies.
4. The Food
Our house during the Christmas season is like a church potluck. The aunts, uncles and cousins bring the best they have to offer with their hot dish of choice. Cheesy potatoes, lefse, grandma’s hot dish, aunt Ann’s hot dish, sweet potato hot dish and it continues.
By the time you’re done eating, it feels like the button on your pants might pop if you take one more breath. You plop on down next to grandpa and let out a sigh of satisfaction. As sleepiness starts to take over, someone smiles at you and lets you know it isn’t over yet.
Dessert is yet to be served and you need get up and eat your piece of pie. Pie is so good, you’re going to have two and you’re right back on that couch, ready to fall asleep at a moment’s notice. You have to love the food.
3. Giving of Presents
I am one of those people who would rather give a great gift rather than receive it. One year, I was so excited to give my brother a Minnesota Vikings jersey that I continuously would tell him how much he would love that present.
I think it is the look on the face of the person receiving the gift that says, “I can’t believe you knew I wanted this.” It makes me very happy to watch that look flash across someone’s face.
2. Going to Church on Christmas Eve
In my small town of Bathgate, ND, this is tradition the Gunderson family has partaken in for years. Dress up, go to the local Christmas Eve church service and come home to open presents and eat food. It has become more enjoyable as time has gone on because I don’t make it home as often as I would like.
It is fun to see families grow as I have been away. Statements like, “When did he get so tall?” or “When did they have a baby?” or “Who is that person with Bob?” Fun to catch up and usually this is a time to do it.
Also, the way the service ends with the congregation lighting individual candles and joining in the singing of Silent Night. It gives me goose bumps every year.
This year is especially exciting to see the family because I get a chance to see my sister, her husband and my nephew, Blake, for the first time since January. Blake, barely six months at that point, is now a year older.
Not only that, it gives you a chance to see the people that you grew up with and talk about, what I like to call, the remember when moments. Remember when Stacey did that or when Joey did that. Talk about dad’s propensity to want to fit in eight days of work in five days, mom’s cooking and Joey’s knowledge of the Minnesota Twins.
Knowing that on Christmas Day, we will be giving Uncle Donnie a hard time for being a UND fan, asking our cousins about what is going on in their lives and trying to crack the best jokes to make the entire family laugh.
Christmas usually provides the best time to do all these things and I know that I am going to enjoy every number on this list. I hope you as listeners of KFGO and readers of this column go out and do the same.
Enjoy the holidays and have a Merry Christmas!
Daniel “Pinto” Gunderson is the producer of the Mike McFeely Show, which can be heard 2-5 p.m. every weekday on 790 KFGO. You can follow him on Twitter @pintoKFGO or friend him on Facebook.